This Free Trade Agreement was signed on August 22nd 1998. While the CARICOM LDCs, such as St. Vincent and the Grenadines, are required to apply the MFN rate of duty on all goods originating from the Dominican Republic on the LDC markets, the LDCs are not required to extend duty free access for all Dominican Republic goods or to phase reduction of MFN rate of duty on goods. Therefore, the Agreement is non reciprocal for CARICOM LDCs.
The fundamental objective of the Agreement shall be to strengthen the commercial and economic relations between the Parties through:
- the establishment of a Free Trade Area between the Parties consistent with the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organisation (the WTO);
- the promotion and expansion of the sale of goods originating in the territories of the Parties through, inter alia, free access to the markets of the Parties, elimination of non-tariff barriers to trade, and the establishment of a system of Rules of Origin, Customs Co-operation and the Harmonisation of Technical, Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary Procedures;
- the progressive liberalisation of trade in services; (iv) the liberalisation of the movement of capital between the Parties, and the promotion and protection of investments aimed at taking advantage of the opportunities offered by the markets of the Parties, and the strengthening of their competitiveness;
- the promotion of the active participation of private economic agents with a view to deepening and broadening the economic relations between the Parties, including the promotion and establishment of joint ventures;
- the promotion and development of co-operative activities in the following areas: agriculture, mining, industry, construction, tourism, transportation, telecommunications, banking, insurance, capital markets, professional services and science and technology;
- the discouragement of anti-competitive business practices between and within the Parties.